Cancer patient seeks $12.3M from ‘Gerson Way’ naturopathic doctor

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ELMA, Wash. — A 52-year-old Grays Harbor County woman has filed a malpractice complaint seeking $12.3 million from her naturopathic doctor after, she says, the  cancer treatments left her feeling worse.


Willow Lovage

Willow Lovage was diagnosed with rectal cancer last spring. She underwent chemo and radiation therapy, but it didn’t seem to be working.

Then she met Lucinda Messer, a naturopathic doctor in Kirkland, who practiced an alternative therapy called the ‘Gerson Way.’

“She told me it could cure it if I did what she said,” Lovage said Wednesday. “She gave me lots of hope.”

Lovage said that on Messer’s advice, she began castor oil enemas three times a day, and some orally, but started to have side-effects right away.

“I didn’t realize I was going to get so fatigued. My nerves feel like they’re on fire and burning.”

Lovage’s attorney, Chris Crew, said the Gerson Institute doesn’t advocate castor oil therapy for patients who have had chemo. That’s why he’s filed a medical malpractice and negligence complaint against Messer.

“The treatment is supposed to be very short-term, not five months long. The castor oil wasn’t supposed to be ingested as well; it was just an enema process,” Crew said. “Even if you believe in the Gerson Way, this is not their way.”

Messer declined requests for an interview. But the State Board of Health has now opened up an investigation into her practice.

Lovage is glad to hear that, but she’s still pursuing legal action because she says there is a possibility her treatments led to permanent nerve damage.

“Lucinda is supposed to be the professional,” she said. “I didn’t go to doctor school, I didn’t go to Gerson school. I did what she told me to do because she told me she was the doctor. She wasn’t healing people, she was damaging people worse.”

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    Castor oil enemas??? Really??? Any third-rate moron should be able to see that's total nonsense.
    People, use some common sense please!

  • anon

    maybe that is a extreme way of vitamin B-17 or the apricot seed which I think .not sure has some chemical in the seed in which some people claim cures cancer

  • Hepar

    This is a perfect example of so many things wrong with this country. A complete lack of personal accountability. $12.3 million? Are you kidding me? If she gets one dime, then the system has completely failed. Hopefully it gets thrown out of court before it goes anywhere.

  • Travis

    I doubt the doctor ever used the word "cure"… And even though I've never heard of anyone using castor oil in an enima, suing for $12M makes you just look desperate.

    • Eeyore

      Trust me, naturapaths use the word “cure” all the time. Just not in print. She and the rest of the quacks out there taking advantage of sick people need to be put in jail. But 12 million might hurt too. Look, I dislike stupidity as much as the next guy, but I don’t think people should die for it.

  • McOpie

    Fox13. you know that Dr. Messer had already been interviewed by Komo4 earlier that day, pushing her patients back a few hours. By the time you got here she couldn't reschedule her patients any more. Her patients are VERY important to her. I told you this. She didn't "decline requests for an interview". She declined Fox13's request since she had already given a video and audio interview to Komo4. I stand by her.

  • Dee

    Castor oil enemas are part of the Gerson therapy. I think the news reported wrong information here. Coffee enemas were most likely done three times a day. Castor oil enemas are not as frequent. Get it right before you report. I do Gerson. Its NOT short term. Why didn't the news do their research here? They could have simply called the Gerson Institute or looked at the Gerson book to know that the therapy is 18 months to three years long. I am having nothing but good results with Gerson…and by the way, I happen to use this doctor also. I have nothing bad to say about her. She is using Gerson. Maybe the lady here should file her lawsuit with Gerson instead.

    • Ariel Burns

      As this is part of a lawsuit, it is the right report. We know that you are friends with this woman as are the rest of you who commented, because NO ONE but a fringe group sides with cancer quacks.

  • J

    Dr. Messer helped save my daughters life. Thus women did allopathic methods 1st! Ruined her body with chemotherapy, radiation and god only knows what else. Never in our experience was Dr. Messer unprofessional or dangerous with our care. Shame on such “reporting”, Q13fix needs some serious education and less bias.

    • Ariel Burns

      The way this often happens is the pseudoscience practitioner will take your own self reported symptoms, diagnose a fake condition, then treat you for it, then claim you are cured.

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